How to protect your camera from overheating
Source: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1638413680, Shutterstock
It’s true – if you’re a professional photographer who can afford to purchase the highest quality camera bodies, they should be able to withstand the heat without any issues, but there are still some best practices that you should keep in mind when shooting in hot weather. Let’s review those in this article…
Tips to protect your camera from overheating / protecting your camera in the heat / shooting in high temperatures
First, check with your camera’s manufacturer to find out the operating temperature of the camera. Avoid taking the camera into environments that will likely exceed this temperature.
Avoid condensation issues by allowing your camera and other equipment to warm up gradually before exposing them to a hot environment. Avoid rapid changes in temperature; limit the number of transitions from warm to cold, and vice versa. For certain camera models, you can even find anti-fog eyepieces [Amazon Link] that reduce condensation.
Consider placing your camera body and lenses in airtight, sealable bags with silica gel packets [Amazon Link] inside before exposing them to heat. An airtight camera case such as the Pelican Small DSLR Camera Case [Amazon Link] would also do the trick.
If you have a camera with an articulating LCD screen, tilt the screen away from the camera body. If you leave the LCD pressed up against the body, this will increase the amount of heat on the camera and can lead to overheating.
Consider leaving your camera’s battery door open, assuming the batteries are adequately snug inside. The door usually doesn’t have to be closed to use the camera. This practice can help dissipate heat.
If possible, use external batteries. If you’re shooting and have a power outlet nearby (or one that could be accessed with extension cords), there are dummy battery adapters that could be used. The dummy battery rests in the camera, which only has a power cord inside, and not an actual battery.
Consider covering any large black surfaces of your camera with aluminized heat shield tape [Amazon Link]. This should reflect the majority of radiant heat. Similarly, placing a white towel or rag over the camera body and lens should reflect sun and keep the camera from heating up too much. Just drape the towel; do not wrap the camera, as you want some air to be able to flow around it.
Consider getting a Lighting Reflector and Stand Kit [Amazon Link]; leave the camera under the reflector with the silver side up. Similarly, you could place a mini umbrella [Amazon Link] over the camera.
Consider using a portable tent such as the one from E-Z UP [Amazon Link]; keep yourself and your photo gear under this for the majority of the shoot and you’ll avoid overheating issues.
Cordless fans powered by lithium-ion batteries [Amazon Link] can help cool down your photography gear in hot environments.
Look at upgrading your memory card(s) – especially if they’re old – to ensure they’re efficient; your camera will then not build up as much internal heat while you shoot.
Device-intensive features such as Live View and HD video recording will generate heat; therefore, don’t use them in the heat unless truly necessary.
If feasible, have a backup camera body and rotate between the two bodies.
Best cameras for hot weather photography / warm weather photography / hot weather photography
Always favour weather sealed cameras. Weather sealing a camera refers to having rubber gaskets in the seams to keep the elements from the camera’s internals. However, if the lens doesn't have weather sealing also, elements can still enter into the camera through the lens mount.
Many cameras are already weather sealed, but don’t assume that your camera is necessarily weather sealed just because it’s a new model. Check with the camera manufacturer to verify.
GoPro is likely the first brand that most people consider when thinking about shooting in harsh, hot climates, and certainly they have some good options, such as the GoPro HERO7 Action Camera. [Amazon Link] However, the image quality on GoPros often isn’t the greatest and they’re generally better for videography than photography.
Point-and-shoot cameras are fine for daytime shooting in hot weather, but you’ll want a basic DSLR & kit lens for any nighttime, low light performance.
Some good DSLRs to consider for hot weather photography:
The Nikon D850 DSLR [Amazon Link] is big and bulky; not much else can match its combination of speed, image quality, and ruggedness.
The Olympus TG-6 [Amazon Link] is branded as “Tough” because it can handle shooting in most harsh environments. It is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, crushproof, and freezeproof.
Pentax is known for having excellent weather sealing. The Pentax K-70 Black [Amazon Link] is fully weather sealed and has largely positive reviews on Amazon. This camera is built specifically for outdoor shooting. Another solid, less expensive option from this brand is the Pentax K-30 Weather-Sealed 16 MP CMOS Digital SLR [Amazon Link], which is also weather sealed and built for shooting outdoors.
The Canon 1DX Mark II [Amazon Link] is built for abuse but is also quite expensive. Only professional photographers will want to consider this one.
Other camera accessories to help prevent overheating:
Place a UV filter on your lenses; more specifically, a UV-Haze filter [Amazon Link] can help cut through moderate smoke/particles that can be in the air on especially hot days.
You could place cold gel packs [Amazon Link] on your camera body/other photography equipment to help cool down gear.
Generally, carbon fiber tripods [Amazon Link] do better in hot weather than regular tripods.
Have some camera wipes [Amazon Link] on hand to dry off the camera.
Some Hot Weather Photographs | Hot Weather Photography | Warm Weather Photography | Summer Photography
Maybe one of these pictures can inspire you to do some hot weather photography of your own:
Beautiful sunset in the mountain landscapes, reflection of sky, majestic sundown mount.
Shutterstock: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1200723487
Woman yoga practice in hot spring water area with natural hot stream water.
Shutterstock: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1007762446
Hot weather and no rain makes drought and fires.
Shutterstock: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 190813220
Get Photography Insurance | Insurance for photographers | Photographer Insurance | Fire Photography Insurance
Following these tips will, hopefully, allow you to avoid hot weather-related damage to your photography gear. However, just in case something like that does happen, you will want to have photography insurance in place to help cover the cost of repair/replacement.
Front Row’s insurance for photographers is a good option for insuring your photo gear. You can get a quote and purchase a policy online in just five minutes, or read more about the coverages available on the photography insurance site.
Note: if you are interested in doing any kind of fire photography or photography in and around pyrotechnics, that is not automatically covered and will require special underwriting authorization. Contact us to discuss the details.
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